Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
I remember another painter I used to see at that show. I can't recall his work in detail, but it featured mountains, a lake and pine trees. All in browns and greens. ALL of his paintings.
For you see, he painted the same painting over and over again. Big ones, small ones, horizontal and vertical ones of each size. But the image was essentially the same on each canvas.
If a customer really liked the image, s/he would have no problem finding the right size and format for the available space in the home or office. If people didn't like the image, well, there was nothing else to look at in this guy's booth, so the buyers would move along and look elsewhere.
I never did talk with the artist. I'd love to know if he discovered the image was a winner: that's why he painted it and it only. Or: was it an image he liked and therefore banked his time and his material costs on re-painting it ad nauseum?
I've heard artists like this referred to as "Johnny One-Notes." No variety, no experimentation--just do what's safe and, possibly, saleable. While it isn't unusual for artists to become known for doing a certain subject with variations, THIS guy took it to an extreme.
Frankly, I think that's sad. If he's still painting and selling work, I hope he's grown in his art AND in his ability to take chances.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Take the painting, "Song of the Angels" on the right by William Bouguereau, quite possibly the best artist of the 19th century and arguably of all time. Many people today would not appreciate a painting like this and don't understand why it is an example of great art.
As one who is inspired by classical art, I'm concerned that kids today are not exposed to great art. Even college students are led to believe that work like this is "sentimental," "derivative, "boring" and worse.
Sadly, we have many art "professionals" who promote an agenda that de-emphasizes developing skill and discipline in the arts. It's like music students learning to play, sing or compose music without learning anything about scales, chord theory or other basics.
Add to this the fact that when school budgets get tight, the first things eliminated from the curricula are the art and music programs.
I'm one of those who believe so many people, maybe especially in America, see art as being entirely trivial -- nothing more than a decoration that matches the sofa and window treatment and that "ties the whole room together." And kids, and even many adults, know (and will learn) nothing about art and what great art can do for us. What will this do to the future of art and to those of us who make (and try to sell) traditional/classical art?
A fella by the name of Brian Yoder has a Website where he discusses the topic of great art in more depth than is possible here. Whether you agree with his viewpoint or not, his comments will make you think. Find his thoughts in his "frequently asked questions" section: http://www.goodart.org/faq.htm
Also, an outfit called the Art Renewal Center has many online articles and a vast collection of traditional artwork (also online): http://www.artrenewal.com (note: some of the art shown on this site, including the home page, does show nudity -- not to be confused with pornography IMO).
Meanwhile, I'll be busy -- painting in the classical style, and worrying whether or not anyone will even like this stuff in 10-20 years.
Friday, September 5, 2008
By 1968, I was already a year out of high school and was beginning to take on the look of the "hippies" I knew in community college. (The look eventually evolved into biker dress without the gang colors of Hells Angels et al). Many of the people I hung with used drugs; yet, for whatever reason, I didn't get into that stuff myself. Well, OK, I took ONE puff on a joint out of curiosity about the taste and how it felt to fill one's lungs intentionally with smoke. That was it. I've sometimes wondered why I never got caught up with drugs as others around me did.
I only thing I can figure is: I'm a rebel. Always have been. I wouldn't be an artist today if I wasn't willing to break away from convention and do something like that, especially when some people tell you "you can't make it as an artist." That just makes me want to prove them wrong.
I seem to rebel against whatever is popular, whatever the status symbols are, and -- of course -- the status quo. When the movie, "The Titanic" came out and it became such a hit, I made it a point NOT to see it. When SUVs became the rage, I hated 'em -- and still do. And when people tell me to accept things the way they are; or to take the safe, easy way -- hey! I'LL SHOW YOU!!!
And drugs and alcohol. Using them never struck me as being a very bright thng to do. I saw people who were out of control and acting stupid. I hate being out of control and acting stupid. I need discipline to do art and to grow in it, even when I wasn't that self-disciplined in the late '60's-early '70's.
I'm sure my rebellious nature has caused me a lot of problems over the years. But it also saved me from the negative consequences of using drugs.
Besides, art is my drug. Nothing else can compare to the high I get when a painting is turning out better than I expected. I'm not sure if art is cheaper than drugs, but I have something to show for it when the high is over. That works for me!